Saying the word ‘carnival’ stamps my tongue with a breed of thrill & it finds its way into my body. I’ve never been to a carnival, only seen it on TV, but I know it exists in different strains. People can be carnivals, too. They come into your life & husk the silence off your spirit & teach you to water the seed in your heart. They burn the vacuum in you & the fire lights up streets you never knew existed inside you. You see, your body is a city, too, & unfamiliar people wander in, like birds & make nests in your tongue. They’ll take you on merry-go-rounds, you’ll sing songs your mouth never memorized the words of. & when they’re gone, which happens eventually, you’ll learn lanes also exist in cities, you’ll learn that your body is a home & not a bar strangers walk in for a drink. You’ll understand why people find love in cigarettes-- they're trying to light up sleeping streets in themselves.
Praise Osawaru is a Nigerian writer & poet studying at the University of Benin, Nigeria. His works have appeared in African Writer, Ngiga Review, Praxis Magazine & elsewhere. He was longlisted for African Writers Award 2019 & shortlisted for 2019 Kreative Diadem Creative Writing Contest. Say hello on Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise.